January 18, 2008 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC
BALTIMORE, Md. - The Columbus Crew today selected five players in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, held at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Crew entered the day holding three picks (Nos. 6, 20 and 48 overall), but acquired two more selections (Nos. 22 and 31 overall) in a draft-day trade with FC Dallas. In exchange, the Crew sent its natural second- and third-round picks in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft to Dallas.
The Crew began its day by utilizing its first-round (No. 6 overall) selection on imposing defender Andy Iro, a native of England and product of UC-Santa Barbara. Columbus then selected a pair of second-rounders, tabbing forward George Josten of Gonzaga with the 20th pick overall and using the newly-acquired 22nd selection on forward Ricardo Pierre-Louis, a native of Haiti who attended Lee University (Tenn.). With its third-round pick (No. 31 overall), also acquired in the trade with Dallas, the Crew selected left-footed defender Ryan Miller of Notre Dame. The Crew wrapped up its 2008 MLS SuperDraft in the fourth round by using the No. 48 overall selection on forward Steven Lenhart of Azusa Pacific University (Calif.).
"I\'m happy with our draft," said Crew Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "We were very pleased to be able to pick up Iro at the sixth pick because we didn\'t think he would be available there. The reason we made the trade with Dallas was because we saw that there were two forwards on the board and we were looking for offensive help. So George Josten, who was the leading scorer at the combine, was a good pick for us and Ricardo Pierre-Louis is a guy who is already playing for the Haitian National Team and the Haitian Olympic Team and was a good pick for us, as well. Ryan Miller is a player who has unbelievable speed, comes from a great program and is a really solid defender. Steven Lenhart is a bit of an unknown quantity, but a guy who had a great year and won an NAIA championship."
Iro, a 6-foot, 5-inch, 23-year-old native of Liverpool, England, scored 10 goals, with 4 assists from his defender position in 86 career collegiate games at UC-Santa Barbara. Iro started every game in which he appeared during his college career and was honored with various accolades throughout his career, including being named the Big West Defensive Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons (2005-07), the NSCAA All-American Second Team in 2007 and 2006, the NSCAA All-American Third Team in 2005 and the NSCAA All-Far West First Team in 2007 and 2006.
"I\'m happy and I\'ve heard good things about Sigi," Iro saidd. "I\'ve got a friend (Jason Garey) who is already on the team and I\'m sure he\'ll help me out. I really don\'t know a whole lot about Columbus or Ohio, so it\'s going to be a whole new experience and it\'s going to be another step in my life and I\'m ready for it."
Josten, a 21-year-old native of Idaho Falls, Idaho, scored 34 goals, with 17 assists in 79 career collegiate games at Gonzaga. Josten finished his career ranked third in school history in career goals and assists and fourth in career points (85). He was named to the All-WCC First Team for three consecutive seasons (2005-07), the NSCAA All-Far West Region First Team in 2007 and 2006, the NSCAA All-Far West Third Team in 2005, the WCC All-Freshman Team in 2005 and was Honorable Mention All-WCC in 2004.
Pierre-Louis, a 23-year-old native of Leogane, Haiti, scored 101 goals, with 33 assists in 63 career games at Lee. Pierre-Louis, who speaks five languages, was named the NAIA Player of the Year and the Region XIII Player of the Year in 2007. He was also named to the NAIA All-American First Team, the NAIA Region XIII First Team and the SSAC First Team for three consecutive seasons (2005-07). Pierre-Louis has also scored six goals in 26 appearances for the Haitian National Team and also made contributions at the U-23, U-20 and U-17 levels.
Miller, a 23-year-old native of Barrington, Ill., scored seven goals, with 11 assists in 91 career collegiate appearances at Notre Dame. Miller was named to the NSCAA All-American Second Team, the All-Big East First Team and the Big East All-Tournament Team in 2007. He was also named to the NSCAA All-Scholar Team.
Lenhart, a 21-year-old native of Yorba Linda, Calif., totaled 38 goals and 12 assists in 61 career collegiate games at Azusa Pacific University. He was twice named to the All-GSAC Team (2006-07) and the NAIA All-Tournament Team (2006-07), as well as being honored as the NAIA Tournament Outstanding Offensive Player (2006-07). He was also named a NAIA All-American in 2007.
"It\'s always interesting because there are always surprises in the Draft," said Crew General Manager Mark McCullers. "Frankly, it didn\'t play out like we thought it would, it played out better than we thought it would. To have the top three defenders available to us at number six, in a class where defenders were considered to be the best of the class, was a good start. And we got the top two forwards, as rated by our coaching staff. So when you look at how we had the players graded overall, we ended up with a much larger percentage of our top prospects than we expected."
For more information on the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and the Crew's draft picks, visit TheCrew.com, MLSnet.com and Shawn Mitchell's new blog at Dispatch.com, entitled "Covering the Crew" (http://blog.dispatch.com/crew/).
The Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it will open its 13th season overall and tenth in first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, March 29, when it plays host to Eastern Conference-rival Toronto FC.